Jewish Community Library

‘Diaspora’ collages create layers of meaning at library exhibit

'Diaspora' collages create layers of meaning at library exhibit - J.

Artist Rachel Leibman has been creating her collages - colorful, vivid works with a delicate juxtaposition of text, image and line - for 18 years. But this year she's breaking new ground at the Jewish Community Library with her show "Diaspora." Though her collages and mixed media art have been shown in Jewish spaces before, ...

off the shelf | New biographies tell the stories of Jews who aren’t as famous as they should be

New biographies of Jews who should be better-known

Although we tend to read biographies of people we care about, I just finished reading two books about figures who meant little to me - and I'm glad I did. It was not long ago that I first learned of Julius Rosenwald, the former head of Sears, Roebuck and the subject of "Julius Rosenwald: Repairing the World ," historian Hasia R.

off the shelf | Three newly translated works are a blast from the past

Three newly translated works are a blast from the past - J.

We are all familiar with the modern tradition of time capsules, created with the intention that they will be opened far in the future, enabling the people of tomorrow to glimpse a bygone moment in history. There are books that, although not by design, function similarly.

Dad’s 1946 letters expose startling secret in ‘Letter from Cloudcroft’

Dad's 1946 letters expose startling secret in 'Letter from Cloudcroft' - J.

Filmmaker Melinda Hess was going through boxes of family artifacts that had been collecting dust for a quarter-century when she discovered a series of letters that revealed disturbing secrets about her father's work in the 1940s. Nestled among grade-school report cards, a bar mitzvah photo and a marriage certificate was a brown leather suitcase containing a series of numbered letters in Army-issued envelopes.

off the shelf | Tales of divorce: seven years of Talmud + new Tova Mirvis memoir

Divorcees: seeing life through Talmud + new Tova Mirvis memoir

This fall has seen the publication of two remarkable memoirs from writers reflecting on life transitions through the most Jewish of lenses. Tova Mirvis became a celebrated figure in the Jewish literary world with " The Ladies' Auxiliary," published in 1999 when she was in her early 20s.

Veteran of underground comics scene adapts her father’s Yiddish tales

Veteran Wonder Woman artist adapts her father's Yiddish tale

Trina Robbins says she was an ungrateful child. But she's making up for that now. Growing up in Queens, New York, the young Robbins - like many children of Jewish immigrants - was uninterested in learning Yiddish, her father's first language.

One Bay One Book returns with Iranian Jewish tale ‘Septembers of Shiraz’

One Bay One Book returns with tale of Iranian Jews 'Septembers of Shiraz'

A story about a Persian Jewish family's struggles in post-revolution Iran has been chosen by the Jewish Community Library as its One Bay One Book selection for 2017-18. "The Septembers of Shiraz," by Tehran-born Dalia Sofer, tells the fictional story of a gem dealer, who is imprisoned after the Islamic Revolution of the late 1970s, ...

Selection of Mussar-related Books

For those in the Bay Area, all of the following books are available to borrow free of charge from the Jewish Community Library.

Classic Mussar texts translated from Hebrew

  • The Path of the Just (Mesilat Yesharim), by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto. Feldheim, 2004.
  • Cheshbon ha-Nefesh, by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Satanov. Feldheim, 1996.
  • Shaare Teshuvah (The Gates of Repentance), by Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerona. Feldheim, 1981.
  • The Ways of the Righteous (Orhot Tsadikim). Feldheim, 1995.
  • Duties of the Heart (Hovot ha-Levavot), by Bachya ben Joseph ibn Paquda. Feldheim, 1996.


History and Writings of the 19th-century Mussar Movement

  • Rabbi Israel Salanter and the Musar Movement, by Immanuel Etkes. Jewish Publication Society, 1993
  • The Fire Within: The Living Heritage of the Musar Movement, Hillel Goldberg
  • Sparks of Musar: A treasury of the words and deeds of the Musar greats, by Chaim Ephraim Zaichyk
  • Rabbi Israel Salanter: Religious-Ethical Thinker, by Menahem G. Glenn. Bloch, 1953
  • The History of the Musar Movement: 1840-1945, by Lester Samuel Eckman. Shengold, 1975.
  • Ohr Yisrael: The Classic Writings of Rav Yisrael Salanter and His Disciple Rav Yitzchak Blazer. Targum Press, 2004.


Contemporary Mussar Teachings

  • Mussar Yoga: Blending an Ancient Jewish Spiritual Practice with Yoga to Transform Body and Soul, by Edith Brotman. Turner, 2014
  • The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar, by Greg Marcus. Llewellyn, 2016 (forthcoming).
  • Living Mussar Every Day, by Rabbi Zvi Miller. Targum Press, 2007.
  • Climbing Jacob's Ladder: One Man's Rediscovery of a Jewish Spiritual Tradition, by Alan Morinis. Broadway Books, 2002.
  • Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Musar, by Alan Morinis. Trumpeter Books, 2007.
  • Every Day, Holy Day: 365 Days of Teachings and Practices from the Jewish Tradition of Musar, by Alan Morinis. Trumpeter Books, 2010.
  • With Heart in Mind: Mussar Teachings to Transform Your Life, by Alan Morinis. Shambhala, 2014.
  • A Responsible Life: The Spiritual Path of Musar, by Ira F. Stone. Aviv Press, 2006.
  • The Book of Jewish Values, by Joseph Telushkin, Bell Tower, 2000.